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MFine launches SPO2 tracking tool to turn smartphones into oximeters

·3-min read

New Delhi, Mar 7 (PTI) Health-tech startup MFine on Wednesday unveiled 'MFine Pulse' - an app-based SPO2 monitoring tool that can help people to keep track of their oxygen saturation levels using their smartphones.

The tool, which is free for use, would be available on the MFine app and can be used with any smartphone that has a back camera and flash, and an internet connection, MFine Chief Technology Officer Ajit Narayan told PTI.

MFine has built a proprietary algorithm that measures oxygen saturation using a smartphone camera, the company said.

Measuring SPO2 levels is useful for people who have conditions that affect oxygen saturation. For example, people with respiratory or cardiovascular conditions sleep apnea, heavy snoring and very young infants are recommended to monitor their oxygen saturation level regularly.

A photoplethysmogram (PPG) signal is obtained from the user's fingertip using the smartphone camera. The PPG is an optically obtained plethysmogram that can be used to detect blood volume changes in the microvascular bed of tissue. The LED illuminates the skin and the smartphone camera measures the changes in light absorption.

The signal is then broken down into Red, Blue and Green parts and using the difference in levels of light absorbed across these different wavelengths, SPO2 is calculated by a machine learning algorithm.

Currently, the MFine Pulse SPO2 measuring tool features 80 per cent medical-grade accuracy.

The tool is in public beta for Android users and will soon be launched for iOS users.

MFine is preparing for certifications of its algorithms, with data of hundreds of measurements to give medical-grade accuracy and reliability to the algorithm, it said.

In its beta roll-out, thousands of users have already used the tool and currently, hundreds of readings are recorded every day.

'None of the data is stored on mobile or our servers. In fact, we do quite a bit of processing of the video on the mobile device itself. We process the red, blue channel saturation levels (a sequence of numbers) and only this information is sent to the servers for our AI to do its job of predicting the SP02 levels. The video itself is not stored. It is discarded immediately,' Narayan said.

He added that at the server too, once the processing is completed, the data is discarded and not stored by the AI algorithm.

'In the future, it will be possible to store a person's actual predicted SP02 value in a tracker so that he can track how his saturation has been over time, but only if the patient chooses to. Today the value of the SP02 reading has to be explicitly shared by the patient with the doctor. In the coming months, it will be possible for patients/users to store the information and share that with the doctor,' Narayan said.

Moving beyond telemedicine consultations and services, MFine is working on next-gen AI technologies to convert the mobile phone into a rich diagnostics and vitals monitoring tool.

MFine will launch more such vitals monitoring and diagnostics tools in the coming days, elevating the use of smartphones as the new examination tool for vitals tracking, the company said.

India is among the world's biggest markets for smartphones. Coupled with affordable data prices, internet-led services like e-commerce, online education and telemedicine has seen strong growth in usage.

Industry watchers say smartphones and smart wearables - as health monitoring devices - are expected to play a major role in the way users track their vital parameters and healthcare providers handle diagnostics. PTI SR SHW SHW